Engaging ODL Learners through Mobile Learning at Open University Malaysia
Mobile learning (m-learning) is said to be the next wave of learning (Bonk, 2009). The ITU World Telecommunication (2009) reported an estimate of 4.6 billion mobile cellular telephone subscriptions around the world compared to 6.8 fixed telephone line subscriptions. There are currently 9.5 billion mobile broadband subscriptions. Expected to bring about ubiquitous learning or u-learning, mobile devices such as phones have become more affordable, yet more powerful and packed with features that rival the supercomputers of years ago. Hence, it is not surprising that an increasing number of institutions of higher learning (IHL) are starting to design learning that incorporates mobile devices. Students with smart phones and other popular personal devices such iPods and iPads or netbooks and notebook computers are already benefiting from a plethora of online learning materials such as podcasts, open educational resources (OER) and use of social media. Open distance learning (ODL) institutions are also expected to embark on making available materials for m-learning 24 hours a day. Soon, the development of mobile wireless technologies will urge ODL leaders to consider and adopt m-learning on a wider scale to benefit its students.
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